***This is a review of an upcoming release. This title is scheduled to be released on May 3, 2022.***
NetGalley kindly gifted me three RomComs, all releasing this week, and I wanted to get them all reviewed before the release, but not TOO early…so I had one scheduled each week for the last three weeks of April. This one was supposed to be first, but I started it and it didn’t grab me, so I put it aside, thinking that I might feel differently about it later.
Spoiler: I did not feel differently about it later.
Freya Scott is getting married. Her wedding to Matthew, her long-term boyfriend, is the first of eight in her calendar this year, and as someone who prides herself on being meticulously organized, Freya is intent on making it the perfect day to remember.
But when Matthew calls things off hours before they walk down the aisle, Freya’s entire life plan goes up in smoke. Humiliated and heartbroken, the last thing she wants is to attend a summer of other peoples’ nuptials on her own.
Fortunately, her friends have an idea: together they devise a series of outrageous challenges for Freya to complete at each event, designed to distract her from Matthew and what might have been. From getting stuck in an old church bathroom and needing to be rescued by the vicar to making out with a barman at a French chateau, Freya realizes that despite herself, she might just be having fun.
By the time the final wedding arrives, she will discover that the road to a happy ending sometimes has unexpected detours, that “I do” is only the beginning––and that perhaps her own love story isn’t over just yet.
There were some things I liked about the book. I thought that many of the friends were fun and funny, and their affection for Freya was obvious. I thought that the plan that they came up with to get Freya outside of her comfort zone was kind of genius, and the way that the challenges played out was amusing, and not at all cringey. It was played for laughs, sure, but we were all in on the joke, and that’s important for me. I also thought that Freya’s new love interest, Jamie, was charming and delightful. Funny, rakish, self-effacing…heck, I might have been a little in love with him by the end. They had a decent enemies-to-friends vibe, and I thought that they were going to sell me on their chemistry.
And then, it just…fizzled.
Which brings me to what I did not like about the book. It just went…nowhere. Sure, there were a bunch of weddings…but seven weddings is about four too many for me to get invested in in a book. They made the cast sort of unwieldy, and we didn’t get any real time at any one place before we were dashing off to the next one. We also didn’t get a lot of traction with Jamie and Freya. Jamie wasn’t even AT all the weddings, which I get is likely how it might have played out in real life, but was frustrating as a reader because it felt like all the momentum the relationship might have just got derailed.
There is also a needlessly complicated subplot involving Freya, her dad, her brother, his new beau, and her estranged mother and the man she broke up the family over. It, like everything else, just slowed things down. If you cut out the entirety of this subplot, it does nothing but improve the flow of the book.
There is a fair amount of time spent texting throughout the book, and the way the texts are formatted, it is literally impossible to tell who is speaking, which was infuriating. This is a text exchange between Freya and Isabelle. Which lines are Freya’s? Your guess is as good as mine.
I linger next to Pret, scrolling through my phone so it looks like I’m busy, keeping the meeting point in my sight line in case someone else arrives. I go into WhatsApp and find Isabelle’s name.
Hope you’re having an amazing honeymoon!
Wish you were here this weekend
Freyaaaaaa!! MISS YOU!
Having a great time, although Ryan got
food poisoning last night. It was not sexy.
I’m telling you, he’s lucky he put a ring on it BEFORE I witnessed that scene yesterday.
Oh no, is he ok?
He’s fine now.
Eating like a pig.
Omg wish I could be there this weekend!!
Please take SO MANY PHOTOS And videos Send them all to me please I am there in spirit
The thing that infuriated me most was that this could have been really good in the hands of the right editor. Cut half the weddings, let the momentum between Jamie and Freya build more organically, and tighten up the text formatting…and it’s something special.
As it was, though, it was a miss for me.